Eric L. Kaplan, executive producer of the long running CBS television series, The Big Bang Theory, Harvard astrophysicist Robert Wilson, co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for finding signs of the real Big Bang, and Marc Abrahams, creator of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony and author of a Big Bang opera, will join New York Times science writer, Claudia Dreifus for a discussion of humor and science.
What's funny and what's not about the scientific enterprise? What role do serendipity and surprise play in both?
Dr. Robert Wilson, is the co-discoverer of the cosmic microwave background radiation, a space echo of the real Big Bang. Mr. Kaplan, a former writer for The Simpsons and Futurama, is also the author of Does Santa Exist: A Philosophical Investigation.
Together, they will discuss the Big Bang Theory, facts, fiction and fun.
Eric Kaplan is a co-executive producer of (and writer for) the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Previously he wrote for The Late Show with David Letterman, Futurama, and Flight of the Concords. Kaplan graduated from Harvard and is currently completing his dissertation in philosophy at UC Berkeley.
Marc Abrahams founded the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, held annually at Harvard. He edits the Annals of Improbable Research magazine, and does a podcast for CBS. Marc was editor of the Journal of Irreproducible Results, and a columnist for The Guardian, Die Zeit, Byte, Harvard Business Review and other publications.
Claudia Dreifus writes and produces the “Conversation with…” feature that appears in the Tuesday Science Times section of the New York Times.
She is also teaches science communication and journalism to graduate students at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Ms. Dreifus first began writing for Science Times in 1998. Over the years, she’s published revealing conversations with, among others, E.O. Wilson, Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, Frans deWaal, Paul Greengard, Eric Kandel, Mary Claire King and more.
Here’s a link to a collection of her New York Times interviews.
Like many journalists, Claudia Dreifus has spent her life working as a curious generalist. Before becoming a science interviewer, she did cultural and political interviews in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Over the decades, at different moments, she’s worked as an interviewer for all of the New York City dailies. Her magazine articles and essays have appeared in Smithsonian, Audubon, Scientific American, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the various sections of the New York Times. Ms. Dreifus is the author of six books, including, Scientific Conversations, and Interview which are used as texts in journalism courses worldwide.When the scientific honor society Sigma Xi awarded her an honorary membership, they cited her interviews as “transforming science journalism.” Currently, she is researching a book on the 2016 Presidential election with her husband, the political scientist, Andrew Hacker.